[No Comment ]Military Psychiatrists and Torture | Harper's Magazine

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[No Comment]

Military Psychiatrists and Torture


Stephen Soldz has taken a look at the Department of Defense Inspector General’s report on internal investigations into detainee mistreatment. The Inspector General, of course, concluded that the investigations “were individually, and in total, inadequate.” Indeed, as noted, the IG’s report generally supports charges that the reports were a whitewash. But Soldz digs a bit deeper into the role that medical professionals, and particularly psychiatrists, played in the abuses.

The report puts psychiatrists right in the center of the action, particularly in the development of techniques derived from the SERE program. He notes:

With the release of the OIG’s report, it is now irrefutable that both SERE psychologists and Guantanamo BSCT psychologists were involved in the development of these forms of interrogation abuse, forms of interrogation that clearly constitute psychological torture and were illegal under the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and various US laws until the 2006 Military Commissions Act granted immunity to those who had previously broken these laws during the “Global War On Terror.”

Soldz also points to the roles played by Captain Bryce E. Lefeve and Colonel Morgan Banks, each of whom is connected in published reports with the refining or adaptation of SERE techniques in connection with “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

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